Dr Luke Kempton Partner

Speaks:  English

Qualified: 1994 - Solicitor of England & Wales

Primary office:  London

Secondary office  Birmingham

Dr Luke Kempton

With a PhD in Biochemistry, it's no surprise that Luke Kempton's main focus is the Life Sciences, a sector he's been active in for around 15 years.

He mainly divides his time between patent litigation and transactional work, advising on transactions for both 'Big Pharma' and small biotech companies. Typical work includes drafting and negotiating licences, product acquisitions, clinical trial agreements, and manufacturing agreements.

Luke also leads the IP transactional team on a diverse range of other technologies, from hi tech to automotive. Whatever the sector, Luke ensures his clients know what IP they are buying in corporate deals, and drafts and negotiates licences to help them achieve their strategic objectives, either as part of larger deals or standalone transactions.

Luke was recognised as a 'patent star' in the IP Stars guide 2017.

Luke is recommended by Chambers UK for intellectual property and life sciences: transactional, and by The Legal 500 for intellectual property.

"Luke Kempton advises market leaders and emerging companies on all manner of collaboration and licence agreements. He is commended for his "great commitment to and focus on the sector."
Chambers UK



  • Advising Novozymes on a patent litigation case across several European countries relating to an industrial enzyme. Luke also coordinated the litigation across the different jurisdictions, a challenge which required an in-depth understanding of molecular biology and biochemical techniques, and involved arranging complex experiments to prove validity and infringement. There was also a concurrent EPO opposition.
  • Acting in proceedings between a generic company and an innovator company about the marketing authorisation for the generic product by the UK regulatory authorities. The case involved several undecided EU-wide legal issues relating to marketing authorisations.
  • Helping the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research defend three patents for the use of infliximab (Remicade®) in combination with methotrexate - the first biosimilar patent litigation to get to trial in the English courts.

Life sciences transactional

  • Advising AstraZeneca on an innovative licensing agreement with a partnership of Belgian life sciences research institutes: the Biotechnology Institute VIB, CD3 and KU Leuven. The deal will see AstraZeneca in-license certain novel molecules from VIB/CD3 and collaborate with academics to explore promising new insights into treatments for inflammatory and cancer diseases. The agreement, negotiated and drafted by Luke in just three weeks, secures long-term research funding to explore the potential of MALT1 - a naturally occurring protein - as a promising target for potential new treatments of auto-immune disorders and certain types of cancer
  • Advising argenX on its a worldwide exclusive license to RuiYi (formerly Anaphore) to develop and commercialize ARGX-109, a novel anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody discovered and developed by arGEN-X. Under the agreement, RuiYi will make an upfront payment to arGEN-X consisting of cash and equity. arGEN-X is also eligible to receive additional payments based on the achievement of certain clinical, regulatory and commercialization milestones and royalties based on worldwide net sales of therapeutic products.
  • Advising Eisai Europe on a cross-border €95 million licence and co-promotion agreement for an epilepsy medicine. Eisai has a sole licence to market, promote and distribute the novel once-daily anti-epileptic Zebinix® (eslicarbazepine acetate) within Europe.
  • Advising a Japanese pharmaceutical company in respect of an agreement to obtain the European, Middle Eastern and African distribution, marketing and license rights for a cutaneous patch from a US biopharma company.
  • Advising The Health Protection Agency on a non-exclusive Material Transfer, Patent and Know-How License Agreement with GlaxoSmithKline for the development and manufacture of a 'next generation' polio vaccine which could be a major step in the eradication of polio.
  • Acting for Eisai Europe on the complex multi-jurisdictional acquisition of the European rights to the intrathecal painkiller Prialt from Elan for US$100 million.
  • Advising Cambridge Antibody Technology Group (now Medimmune) on a number of its patent licensing transactions, including deals with Symphogen, Crucell and BioInvent.
  • Drafting and negotiating all the clinical trial site agreements for two worldwide Phase I clinical trials for a European biotech company.
  • Drafting and negotiating drug manufacturing agreements - including those for a large US biotech corporation, a UK big pharma company and a UK biotech company.

Other transactional

  • Advising a leading company in the field of waterproof nano-coatings on several key licence agreements.
  • Advising on a complex co-branding agreement for a global real estate joint venture.
  • Advising on the IP aspects of the purchase of a digital content company including negotiating a key standalone licence associated with the deal.
  • Advising a UK-based SME on the grant of a complex manufacturing technology license to a Far Eastern company.
  • Advising a Chinese company on the IP aspects of the purchase of UK based hi-tech assets.
  • Helping a Formula One team sell its flywheel technology to an automotive component supplier.
  • Advising NHS Innovation Hubs and Universities on the licensing of their technology.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2018

    • Rankings & Awards
      Chambers UK 2019 (IP: Midlands) - Band 3
    • Rankings & Awards
      Chambers UK 2019 (Life sciences: Transactional) - Band 3
  • 2016

    • Career
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, partner
  • 2014

    • Career
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, partner
  • 2008

    • Career
      Wragge & Co, partner
  • 1996

    • Career
      Wragge & Co, associate and director
  • 1994

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Qualified, Solicitor of England & Wales
  • 1992

    • Career
      National law firm
    • Education
      Law Society Finals
  • 1991

    • Education
      Common Professional Examination (Commendation)
  • 1990

    • Education
      University of Leeds, PhD - Biochemistry
  • 1983

    • Education
      University of Leeds, BSc (Hons) Applied Zoology